Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Why we should keep OUR PUBLIC golf course

Gobble up some of the City's golf course?  For what?  

What could be so important that the City Council would rip this valuable resource out from under our feet without a vote?  Nothing that I can tell.  Land is the most precious commodity we have, and once it's gone, we can't get it back except without a huge investment and great disruption.  But what makes the Council think that the golf course is expendable - all or just a portion of it?

So the park facility doesn't turn a profitL  So what?  How much money does Waluga Park make?  Sundaleaf Park?  How about Pinecone Park or Westridge Park? The  Kincaid Curlique?  You get my drift.  Parks are amenities for citizens, not profit-making enterprises for the City's General Fund (used primarily for staff wages, retirement and benefits.).   Preserving, not chopping up our public assets is the City Council's job!  Yes, it takes money.  And yes, there can be cuts made to the budget that would bring our costs more in line with area cities.

Most of all, there is an equity issue about having a public golf course.  Without these - THIS - assets, only the wealthy have access to the sport through private clubs.  The same argument is true for having a community swimming pool, which also loses money.   Take away these money-losers, and only a very few elites can enjoy the sports.

Has Lake Osweg become so wealthy, selfish and discnnected that average residents are of no consequence?  We have ours - we shouldn't have to pay for yours too.  We don't do that with public education (what a money-loser that is!).

But the BIG LIE is that interest in golf is waning.  (Read articles below.). The myth that golf is on the wane is being repeated here as a cover to take our golf course away, or are from people who have not done their homework.  Lake Oswego has a unique asset.  We also have "almost three times the national average" of use at the course!  Where is the fire?  What is going on?

If you like having the golf course, even if you don't currently use it - if you use any Park that doesn't produce a profit  - if you use any public facility at all or think it is a good idea to have them, let your Mayor and City Councilors know.  NOW!  (Just wondering - how many of them are gofers and have access to or money for private facilities?)   Let people believe that government can be a good steward of valuable resources that should belong to all of the people, but we are only as safe as the last election.  Let's not allow our public golf course to slip away.
Here is the start of a Lake Oswego Review article from August 3 2017,  By Anthony Mauck

Council tees up range of options for Lake 

Oswego Municipal Golf Course

Closing the facility is 'off the table,' but a new configuration or added features are possible

Interest in golf is slowing nationwide, and that's creating a conundrum for the staff and officials in charge of Lake Oswego's Municipal Golf Course. 
Despite being used by 9 percent of the city's population last year — almost three times the national average — the site's overall usage has been in decline, and it now costs the City roughly $182,000 annually to operate an amenity that used to pay for itself.

Now compare that to an article in Forbes Magazine, January 23, 2017. By Erik Matuszewski

Here's Why We Should Be Bullish About Golf In 2017

Golf has a big problem.  
It’s the pervasive – and lazy -- narrative that the sport is dying. It’s not just misguided, it’s wrong
But it’s a story often regurgitated because golf is an easy target, with detractors saying it’s too slow, too expensive and too exclusionary. The naysayers insist the sport must be in its death throes because participation is down, more golf courses are closing than opening, Golfsmith filed for bankruptcy and Nike stopped making clubs. Those things clearly aren’t positives, but the issue is that they never seem to come with proper context.
The reality is that the good in the game right now far outweighs the negatives, which is why – during the week of a PGA Merchandise Show that draws more than 1,000 passionate exhibitors to Orlando – we should be bullish on golf in 2017. There are, in fact, plenty of reasons for optimism.

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